Captain Kirk is a pirate!

Last week (Thursday October 18th) I visited the European Parliament. There was an event there called “Science rules!”. This event featured veteran Start Trek actor Walter Koening (aka Pavel Chekov), several real live European Astronauts and the scientific advisor to commission president Barosso. As a long time space fanatic and Star Trek fan this was an event I could not miss.

Amongst others Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne

At some point during the discussions a scientist uttered her frustration about budget cuts and that Captain Kirk would never be recalled because of budgetary reasons. Stressing that it was only a fictional series. This is however completely wrong.

In the Star Trek universe power is generated using a matter-antimatter reaction. Engines powered in this way can generate a tremendous amount of energy. This energy people onboard the Enterprise can us to make anything the need in their day to day live using their replicators. So they live in a world of abundance. There is no scarcity.

Tea, Earl Grey, Hot!

This is why there is no money in the Federation and all of this is made possible by technology. Thought experiments like this are a big part of what make science fiction and Star Trek interesting and important in our society.

Nowadays technology to store, transmit and process information is increasing faster than humanities collective ability to create more information. So Today all our cultural and scientific works are only scarce because of the laws our politicians make or maintain.

This doesn’t mean they have an infinite amount of power available to them. It can certainly run out when going at high Warp for long time or when powering the shield in heated battles. It just means there’s more than enough to keep everybody living comfortable all of the time.

So I would like to ask all of our lawmakers to not make us all turn into Ferengi, to please not recall captain Kirk and boldly go!